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Posted by on Oct 21, 2011 | 0 comments

Help Me Organize My Home Office

Help Me Organize My Home Office

We all have a room it seems that ends up being the place where stuff gathers — stuff that no one wants to get rid of, stuff that is in transition, stuff that we buy at yard sales “just because.” Andrea also has one of those rooms. She contacted DIY Del Ray for tips on how to better organize the room so she can use it for its intended purpose — a home office and work area for her daughter, who just started kindergarten. This is a 2-part post and we’re asking for your input to help Andrea come up with organization and design solutions to better use the space. After we hear from readers and do our own research, we’ll post part two of this post which will include recommendations and a design mood board. This past Wednesday, Sara, Leslie and I visited Andrea to get a better idea of her needs and design preferences. Here’s what we learned. Andrea’s Wish List Coat/Shoe Storage: The 1940s cape cod...

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Posted by on Sep 8, 2011 | 7 comments

RIBBA to the Rescue

RIBBA to the Rescue

In the past 7 years living in my Del Ray rowhouse, I’ve tried so many ways to organize my small galley kitchen. Where do you keep the stuff you hardly use that takes up lots of space like your electric mixer, blender, and Cuisinart? Where do you store plastic containers whose lids and bottoms never seem to match? What about various oils, vinegar, and spices that you only needed a teaspoon of for a recipe you made six months ago and probably won’t make again? It’s an unending battle. I’m constantly simplifying and sorting. My latest attempt at organizing occurred this past weekend when I installed narrow shelves on an unused wall by the door to the basement. Here’s the before shot of this wasted space, screaming for attention: Without a pantry, I wanted a place to store frequently used items like pasta, rice, flour and sugar, and open up more space in the kitchen cabinets for rarely used items. I thought using clear containers would be both functional and...

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Posted by on Aug 31, 2011 | 0 comments

Reader Submission: Basement Workbench

Reader Submission: Basement Workbench

Local resident Landall Proctor shares how he turn a cluttered corner of his basement into a functional, well-designed work area: As a competitive cyclist and general bike lover my wife and I have a lot of bicycles. There are four in the basement that should be kept in the house for security and neurotic reasons and two in the shed. I do all my own maintenance work and was getting a little frustrated with the lack of workspace I had in our basement for bike repairs. This past weekend I decided to better utilize the small space we have in our basement that I have taken over as my “bike room.” Here’s the before picture: First, I wanted to do this project on the cheap and my first thought was to use some old lumber from other projects I have tackled. Unfortunately none of it would quite get the job done so my wife and I took a trip to Community Forklift to try and get some inexpensive, recycled materials to...

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Posted by on Aug 24, 2011 | 12 comments

House Tour: Katie and Zack’s Rental Retreat

House Tour: Katie and Zack’s Rental Retreat

For our inaugural house tour, Leslie and I visited a neighbor’s house (also named Katie) and were completely blown away with all the DIY and creativity nestled into the less than 1,000 square-foot home. Katie is incredibly crafty and she has found a way to decorate her home (which she doesn’t even own) in a cost-conscious and stylish way. Katie’s motto: “I won’t buy it if I can make it myself.” And when she does buy furniture/accessories, she definitely shops around for bargains — yard sales, Craig’s List, Freecycle, thrift stores — but you wouldn’t know they were second hand by looking at them because Katie has done an amazing job refreshing and repurposing all her finds. Katie and Zack have rented their rowhouse for the past two years. They asked their landlord if they could paint and fix up the house (even if they put it back to its original condition once they move out), but their landlord said no. Undeterred, they have made the most out of...

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Posted by on Aug 10, 2011 | 1 comment

Creative Uses for Chalkboard Paint

Creative Uses for Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint is everywhere these days. Here are a few ways you can use this fun product to repurpose items in your home and get more organized in the process. Magnetic Chalkboard Kitchen Organizer This corner of my itty bitty kitchen seemed like wasted space (I rarely use the aprons). I wanted a place to write the weekly menu, keep an ongoing shopping list, and store coupons. The refrigerator is covered with kid magnets, drawings, school memos, etc. — coupons were going unused and shopping lists were left ignored amongst the clutter. So I found a new place for the aprons and set out to create a magnetic chalkboard to keep our kitchen a little more organized. Step 1: First I determined the size I wanted — roughly 20″ x 22″ — and marked the space off with painter’s tape. Following the instructions on the can, I painted three coats of magnetic primer on the wall, waiting about 30 minutes between each coat. A word of caution — this stuff smells really bad!...

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